Need Five More Reasons to TEFL? Check Out These Fun Cultural Events Abroad!


One of the reasons many people choose to teach English abroad is it gives them the chance to make a living and experience another country’s culture at the same time. Here are some interesting events to check out that correspond with TEFL hiring seasons in five different countries- so you’ll be able to teach English and take in some culture!

1)   Kirkpinar Oil Wrestling – Edirne, Turkey. This competition is held annually in late June and holds the Guinness World record for the longest running sporting event- debuting in 1357. Participants dowse themselves in olive oil, strap on a pair of leather shorts, and wrestle each other. English schools hire TEFL teachers year-round in Turkey, so head over in June and you’ll have the chance to see this annual event!

2)   Songkran Festival – Thailand. Songkran is the celebration of the Thai New Year. Be prepared to get soaked! To celebrate, people line the streets and splash pedestrians and motorists with water. Originally, the water was meant to be symbolic for washing away everything bad from the previous year, but now the emphasis seems to be more centered on having fun. Songkran takes place towards the second week of April, corresponding with the first hiring season in Thailand- perfect if you are looking for a May start date!

3)   Boryeong Mud Festival – Boryeong, South Korea. The Boryeong festival originally began to promote cosmetic products that used Boryeong mud, but has since evolved into a two-week festival that includes events such as live music, mud slides, and body painting. This festival takes place in the beginning of July and goes for two weeks – just the right time to get hired by a public school for September!

4)   White Nights Festival- Saint Petersburg, Russia. The White Nights festival celebrates the season of the “midnight sun”, the time of year when the sun does not drop far enough below the horizon to create darkness at night. It includes classical ballets, live music, art shows, and carnivals that culminate in the Scarlet Sails celebration. This festival begins in late May with events that run through July- perfect to check out before the August hiring season!

5)   Carnival – Brazil. Carnival is probably the most well known holiday in Brazil. It is a festive celebration in the days leading up to Lent that includes parades of samba schools, floats, costumes, dancing, and much more.  In 2013, Carnival will run from February 8 – 12th – just in time to kick off the hiring season in March!

Interested in hearing more about cultural events around the world? Read about one of our blogger’s experience attending a traditional school dance in Ukraine!